The captain of the HMS Beagle when Darwin did his research, Robert FitzRoy was born on this day in 1805. He’s been portrayed as a bad guy because he didn’t accept Darwin’s theories, but FitzRoy was a good, if not a great man. He was an important meteorologist and a publicly minded man, if limited by the mores of his time. On the other side of the Atlantic was a man I don’t really have anything good to say about. But I did James Anthony Bailey the other day, so I’m forced to admit that P. T. Barnum was born in 1810. The great French writer Jean Cocteau was born in 1889. Pioneering Russian puppeteer Sergey Obraztsov was born in 1901. And composer George Rochberg was born in 1918. Here is his Caprice Variations played with much vigor by violinist Gidon Kremer (who is really good here and everywhere). Look, I know this piece is not easy. But if you stick with it and go with it, I think you’ll find it enjoyable. There is a method to all the madness. It is just that it is a highly dissonant piece:
Not much of a day for birthdays, which is why it belongs to the guitarist and songwriter Robbie Robertson who is 70 today. I mostly really like him for writing the great song “The Weight.” Here he is with The Band from The Last Waltz:
Happy birthday Robbie Robertson!